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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

j           Death                        355

else who dies and not we. We cannot blow hot and cold
with the same breath. If we would retain personal identity
at all, we must continue it beyond what we call death, in
which case death ceases ,to be what we have hitherto thought
it, that is to say, the end of our being. We cannot have both
personal identity and death too.

Complete Death

To die completely, a person must not only forget but be
forgotten, and he who is not forgotten is not dead. This is
as old as non omnis moriar and a great deal older, but very
few people realise it.

Life and Death

When I was young I used to think the only certain thing
about life was that I should one day die. Now I think the
only certain thing about life is that there is no such thing
as death.

The Defeat of Death

There is nothing which at once affects a man so much and so
little as his own death. It is a case in which the going-to-
happen-ness of a thing is of greater importance than the actual
thing itself which cannot be of importance to the man who
dies, for Death cuts his own throat in the matter of hurting
people. As a bee that can sting once but in the stinging
dies, so Death is dead to him who is dead already. While he
is shaking his wings, there is brutum fulmen but the man goes
on living, frightened, perhaps, but unhurt; pain and sickness
may hurt him but the moment Death strikes him both he and
Death are beyond feeling. It is as though Death were born
anew with every man ; the two protect one another so long
as they keep one another at arm's length, but if they once
embrace it is all over with both.

The Torture of Death

The fabled pains of Tantalus, Sisyphus and all the rest of
them show what an instinctive longing there is in all men